The four star 53-bedroom Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter was completely destroyed by fire last month, which was thought to have started in the adjacent fine art gallery. Everyone was safely evacuated and 120 firefighters battled to save it.
It was the first property in England to be called a hotel, back in 1769, and hosted such notables as Admiral Nelson, Franz Liszt, Beatrix Potter, Thomas Hardy, Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. Paintings destroyed in the Castle Fine Art Gallery included works by Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.
The hotel’s current owner Andrew Brownswood, who bought it in 2003 for £4.5 million has pledged to rebuild it.